The Wildlife Conservation Society extends congratulations to conservationist Lee White who was named this week by President Ali Bongo Ondimba as Gabon’s Minister for Forests, Sea, the Environment and Climate Plan.

Said John Robinson, WCS’s Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science: “Lee has been a long-time champion for wildlife in Gabon. He established the WCS program there and helped the nation shepherd in an era of environmental successes including the creation of a national parks system. He is dedicated to helping to protect Gabon’s natural heritage by addressing such threats as the illegal ivory trade and logging. Lee understands that protecting biodiversity is a win for wildlife, communities and economic security, and recognizes the important role of Gabon’s forests in regulating climate.”

White worked for WCS for nearly 20 years and most recently he led the Gabonese National Parks Agency. A scientist, conservationist and environmental policy maker, White has worked in Africa for over 30 years. During the last 10 years, he has been fully involved as Gabon’s representative and scientist on major international climate change negotiations.